Are Women Pawns in the Political Game? Evidence from Elections to the Spanish Senate

Fundacion de Estudios de Economia Aplicada (FEDEA) - Working Paper No. 2009-30

29 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2009 Last revised: 22 Dec 2011

See all articles by Berta Esteve-Volart

Berta Esteve-Volart

York University - Department of Economics

Manuel Bagues

Aalto University - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 30, 2009

Abstract

This paper investigates the reasons behind the low representation of women among legislators. Using data from Spain, we find that parties tend to nominate female candidates to poorer positions on the ballot. We examine whether this is due to voter bias or party bias, and find two pieces of evidence supporting the latter: female candidates attract more votes, and political competition improves the quality of positions to which female candidates are assigned. Moreover, gender quotas fail to erode the strategic nomination of female candidates. The evidence in this paper helps explain why quotas in candidate lists might often lead to disappointing increases in the number of elected female politicians.

Keywords: strategic nomination, gender, voting

JEL Classification: J16, J71.

Suggested Citation

Esteve-Volart, Berta and Bagues, Manuel F., Are Women Pawns in the Political Game? Evidence from Elections to the Spanish Senate (September 30, 2009). Fundacion de Estudios de Economia Aplicada (FEDEA) - Working Paper No. 2009-30. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1480945 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1480945

Berta Esteve-Volart

York University - Department of Economics ( email )

4700 Keele St.
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Manuel F. Bagues (Contact Author)

Aalto University - Department of Economics ( email )

PO Box 1210
FI-00101 Helsinki
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.manuelbagues.com

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